KCNH1 (Potassium Channel, Voltage Gated Eag Related Subfamily H, Member 1, HGNC:6250, 1Q32.2)

KCNH1 (Potassium Channel, Voltage Gated Eag Related Subfamily H, Member 1, HGNC:6250, 1Q32.2)

Additional file 2. Detailed description of gene function with enriched expression in human brain: KCNH1, PLXNA2, SYT14, RCOR3, CD55, TBL1XR1 and SRGAP2

KCNH1 (potassium channel, voltage gated Eag related subfamily H, member 1, HGNC:6250, 1q32.2)

From functional and structural standpoints the most complex and the largest class of voltage-gated ion channels are potassium voltage-gated channels (Kv) represented by some 70 known loci in the mammalian genome [1]. Superfamily of voltage-activated K+ channels encodes three distinct gene subfamilies, including ether-ŕ-go-go (eag), ether-ŕ-go-go-like (elk), and ether-ŕ-go-gorelated (erg) genes [2]. KCNH1 encodes the Eag1 (Kv10.1) channel, a member of the EAG (ether-à-go-go) family of voltage-gated K+ channels [3]. In mammals, Kv10.1 channel expression is exclusively restricted to myoblasts prenatally and in brain postnatal. According to immunocytochemistry and biochemical data localization of Kv10.1 channels is at (pre)synapse [4]. Given that Kv10.1 channel belongs to Eag K+ subfamily (the only mainly neuron-specific subfamily of voltage-activated K+ channels) and its localization it is postulated that Kv10.1 channel regulates Ca2+ influx and neurotransmitter release during repetitive high-frequency activity [5]. Mutation of KCNH1 gene were found in patients with Zimmermann-Laband syndrome (ZLS1; 135500) and Temple-Baraitser syndrome (TMBTS; 611816) [6, 7]. Lower protein expression of Kv10.1 was found in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of patients suffering from schizophrenia [8]. In the functional knockout (KO) mice (Kv10.1. Kv10.1 -/-) no obvious alterations were observed during embryogenesis and mice develop normally to adulthood. Cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum appear anatomically normal in KO animals. Also, most of behavior and electrophysiologic measures taken in KO mice showed results in control range. However, they displayed mild hyperactivity and longer-lasting haloperidol-induced catalepsy [8].

PLXNA2 (plexin A2, HGNC: 9100, 1q32.2)

Plexins are a large family of receptors that acts as a signal transduction molecule for semaphorins (directly forming plexin-semaphorin complex or via plexin-neuropilin-semaphorin receptor complex). To date, nine transmembrane plexin receptors are known that can be subdivided in four classes (plexins A–D). Based on amino-acid sequence similarity and particular structural properties more than 20 semaphorins have been identified that are classified into eight classes (semaphorins 1–7 and V). Over the last two decades role of plexin-semaphorin and plexin-neuropilin-semaphorin signal transduction complexes was extensively studied. PLXNA2 mediate signals from two types of semaphorins (3 and 6). Today it is known that signals from SEMA6A and SEMA6B are directly propagated by PLXNA2, while PLXNA2 interacts with neuropilin to transduce signals from class 3 semaphorins (SEMA3A, SEMA3C and SEMA3F). Looking at the mRNA expression data in normal human tissues one can see that PLXNA2 is expressed in all major tissues, but on protein level PLXNA2 is almost exclusively and highly expressed only in frontal cortex and pancreas. From publicly available data for mRNA gene expression in brain, PLXNA2 shows highest expression pattern in all cortical areas, basal ganglia and thalamus from early to late fetal period. Even though expression level slightly goes down perinatally, it remains high throughout postnatal time. In brain semaphorins 3A and 3C are dynamically expressed, highly expressed in prenatal human brain, but expression goes down at late mid-fetal development and stays relative low after that. Expression patterns for SEMA3F and SEMA6B in brain remains stable and at lower level throughout lifespan, while SEMA6A is highly and stably expressed throughout lifespan in all brain areas (the highest expression is prenatally in CBC). In general semaphorins are chemorepulsive, repelling axonal growth cones, but in some specific cases they can also act as chemoattractive agent, stimulating the growth. In this way semaphorins have an important role in guiding axonal growth cones to appropriate targets in the developing central nervous system [9]. Detail function of semaphorins 3A, 3C, 3F, 6A and 6B is described in the Table 1S. Detail function of semaphorins 3A, 3C, 3F, 6A and 6B.

Table 1S. Detail function of semaphorins 3A, 3C, 3F, 6A and 6B.

signal transduction / function / knockout mice / ref
SEMA3A / NRP1 in complex with
plexin A1 to A4;
Plexin D1;
L1CAM / chemorepulsive agent – inhibiting axonal outgrowth;
chemoattractive agent – stimulating the growth of apical dendrites;
induces the collapse and paralysis of neuronal growth cones;
could serve as a ligand that guides specific growth cones by a motility-inhibiting mechanism / Multiple neural, cardiovascular, lymphatic and immunological defects; osteopenia / [10-13]
SEMA3C / NRP1 or NRP2 in complex with plexin A1 or A2;
Plexin D1 / attractant for growing axons / Aortic arch and cardiac outflow tract malformation; decreased ureteric bud branching / [14, 15]
SEMA3F / NRP1 or NRP2 in complex with plexin A1 to A4;
NRCAM / may play a role in cell motility and cell adhesion / Various defects in axon guidance, neuronal migration and dendritic spine formation / [16-18]
SEMA6A / Plexin A2 or A4 / cell-cell signaling;
required for normal granule cell migration in the developing cerebellum;
repulsive axon guidance cue - repulsive action towards migrating granular neurons;
channeling sympathetic axons into the sympathetic chains / Various axonal guidance and neuronal migration defects; abnormal retinal vascular development / [19-21]
SEMA6B / Plexin A2 or A4 / may play a role in both peripheral and central nervous system development / Aberrant hippocampal mossy fibre projection / [22]

SYT14 (synaptotagmin 14, HGNC:23143, 1q32.2)

SYT14 is a member of the synaptotagmin gene family proteins that are functional link between changes in calcium levels and a variety of biological processes, including neurotransmission and hormone-responsiveness [23]. Vertebrate synaptotagmins are expressed mainly in neurons and neuroendocrine cells [24]. SYT14 is calcium-independent synaptotagmin which is highly expressed in prenatal human brain, so it is likely that this synaptotagmin plays a critical role in neurotransmission. Homozygous mutation in this gene was found in patients with autosomal recessive spinocerebellar ataxia-11 [25]. Disruption of this gene due to translocation was described in a single patient who had developmental delay, cerebral atrophy, macrocephaly, and seizures [26].

RCOR3 (REST corepressor 3, HGNC:25594, 1q32.3)

RCOR3 is a member of the REST corepressor family (CoREST). REST (RE1-Silencing Transcription Factor) is transcriptional repressor that binds neuron-restrictive silencer element (NRSE) and represses neuronal gene transcription in non-neuronal cells. Expression restriction of REST is achieved only in association with two distinct corepressor mSin3 and CoREST [27]. When CoREST and REST are coexpressed, REST interferes with the differentiation program induced by nerve growth factor and in that way restricting neuronal traits to neurons [28].

SRGAP2 (SLIT-ROBO Rho GTPase activating protein 2, HGNC:19751)

Although gene brain expression levels for SRGAP2 are not in publicly available data set, there are publications about gene expression. Giving the important role of SRGAP2 this gene is described in detail.

Comparing genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees in terms of genome sequence one can find 20 million genetic changes that are unique for humans [29] but finding out "the important" differences is not as straightforward as it may seem. One way to overcome this issue is to look at the functionally relevant changes that have impact on protein coding genes. At first, that would include looking at the CNV (copy number change) of protein coding genes. It is well known that segmental duplication in genome is an important driver of evolutionary changes. Genome-wide study identified 177 genes duplicated in the human but not in chimpanzee [30]. One of these genes is SRGAP2 (SLIT-ROBO Rho GTPase activating protein 2). Protein SRGAP2 is a member of Slit-Robo Rho GTPase activating proteins with three domains: an N-terminal F-BAR domain, a RhoGAP domain, and an SH3 domain [31].

There are four copies of SRGAP2 genes: the parental SRGAP2A and three duplicates (SRGAP2B, SRGAP2C and SRGAP2D) [32]. First duplication event occurred ~3.4 million years ago when only first 9 (out of the 22) exons of parental SRGAP2A were duplicated. This segmental duplication truncated SRGAP2B in its F-BAR domain, which led to the key functional consequences. Second segmental duplication occurred ~2.4 million years ago copying SRGAP2B to SRGAP2C. The most recent segmental duplication happened ~1 million years ago when segmental duplication of SRGAP2B gave rise to SRGAP2D. As segmental duplication gave rise to the four similar SRGAP2 sequence in humans, finding out its individual roles in human neurodevelopment is still challenging. The last duplication event resulted in a shortest SRGAP2 sequence (SRGAP2D) that has an additional deletion of exons 2 and 3 leading to a premature termination codon; also CNVs of this specific region was noted in a general population, it is unlikely that this copy of SRGAP2 plays an important role. As SRGAP2C and SRGAP2B are extremely similar in sequence (both are encoding truncated F-bar domain), to reveal which copy is the “main player” in the neurodevelopment, first one can have a look at gene expression data in the brain. Level of the SRGAP2B transcript is low, even absent in some normal individuals, while SRGAP2C is the most abundant duplicate transcript in the fetal and adult brain [32]. Second finding that favors SRGAP2C over SRGAP2B is that SRGAP2C interacts with SRGAP2A [31]. Futhermore, copy number of SRGAP2B and SRGAP2D can vary from 0-4 in normal human population while mouse and nonhuman primes have only ancestral SRGAP2 gene (no duplication event) [33].

Early studies on SRGAP2 function reveled that it regulates neural migration and neurite outgrowth and branching and is expressed throughout the developing cortex in proliferative zones (ventricular zone VZ and subventricular zone SVZ) and in postmitotic zone (cortical plate CP) [34, 35]. Protein expression level also showed that SRGAP2 protein is expressed throughout cortical development, culminating at the time of most prominent neural migration in the cortex, maintained at postnatal brain and reduced, but still present, in adult cortex [35]. Neural migration (radial and tangential) involves the coordinated extension and adhesion of leading process (LP). In some neurons LP is branched and dynamic, while in other neurons LP is a single, stabile movement that moves forward continuously at the top. Branched and dynamic LP, characterized by diversiform branches growing and collapsing as LP progress, is representative for several types of neurons that migrate tangentially (cortical interneurons, pontine neurons and neuroblast in the rostral migratory stream) [36]. For normal neurodevelopment balance between migration towards CP and branching has to be maintained. If LP branching gets excessive, in migrating cortical neurons, migration could be inhibited and vice versa [37]. The function of SRGAP2 in neurodevelopment is established by the ability of its F-BAR domain to induce filopodia-like membrane protrusion, to regulate neural migration and induction of neurite outgrowth and branching [35]. Taking that in mouse only ancestral SRPGAP2 is present it was possible to do loss/gain of function to investigate functional consequences on a rate of radial migration and spine morphology. Knockdown of SRGAP2 promotes neural migration and reduces LP branching. Dendritic spine morphology in cultured cortical neurons displayed immature-looking spines with smaller head width, longer spine neck and increased spine density [31]. Furthermore, in vivo analysis of SRGAP2 knockdown also showed immature-looking spines in layer 5 pyramidal neurons in juvenile state. SRGAP2 knockout mice showed no abnormality in cortical lamination, but showed decreased width of spine heads, increased in length of spine necks and increase in density of dendritic spines [31]. Transition from juvenile to adult mice in both SRGAP2 knockdown and knockout changes spine morphology by substantial growth of spine heads between juvenile and adult stages, so in adult size of spine heads of knockdown and knockout is close to the value in wild-type neurons. In wild-type mice the size of spine heads and the neck length was in the same range in juveniles and adults, only spine density increased in adults. In contrast, neurons overexpressing SRGPA2 do not form stable LP, but instead form multiple unstably processes, and many of them are “trapped” in IZ [35]. Small number of SRGPA2 overexpressing neurons, that have reached CP, have significantly increased branching in CP [35]. Furthermore, spine morphology in cultured cortical neurons overexpressing SRGAP2 showed striking enlargement of dendritic spines with larger spine heads and shorter spine neck [31]. Short description on SRGAP2 function is presented in Table 3.

SRGAP2 F-BAR domain is a homodimerization domain involved in membrane deformation promoting formation of filopodia-like membrane protrusions. Knowing that SRGAP2B and SRGAP2C encode most of the F-BAR domain of ancestral SRGAP2, investigation of potential function of human-specific duplication of SRGAP2 have shown that both human-specific paralogs can interact with ancestral SRGAP2A [31]. Further analysis of functional effects of ability of SRGAP2C and SRGAP2B to dimerize with full length SRGAP2A have focused on SRGAP2C, as SRGAP2C transcripts are substantially more abundant in human brain than SRGAP2B transcripts [32]. In vivo experiments on mouse cortical progenitors have shown that neurons expressing human-specific paralog SRGAP2C had a reduction in LP branching very similar to that seen after SRGAP2 knockdown. Also the rate of radial migration was increased, resulting in a higher proportion of neurons successfully reaching the CP, but this did not alter the final position of neurons in layer 2/3 in the cerebral cortex (inside-out cortical migration was not altered). In vivo experiments showed that in juvenile mice expression of human SRGAP2C induce formation of numerous immature-looking spines which have small head, long neck and high density, while in adults SRGAP2C expressing neurons had spine head widths were similar to control but both spine neck length and density remained significantly higher.

Taken together, these results have postulated that SRGAP2C inhibits ancestral SRGAP2 function during cortical neural migration and displays spine morphology phenotype characteristics of SRGAP2 knockdown and resulting in neoteny during dendritic spine maturation [31].

CD55 (CD55 molecule, decay accelerating factor for complement, HGNC:2665, 1q32)

CD55 gene encodes glycoprotein that has a physiologic role to inhibit the complement cascade, and in that way protects autologous cells and tissues from complement-mediated damage. Just recently it was demonstrated that certain number of genes belonging to macrophages/immune system (including CD55) shows differential expression between ages of 3 to 6 months after birth (time of intense overshoot-type synaptic formation – number of synapses reaches a peak, and pruning takes place after this peak) [38]. Process of synaptic phagosytosis by microglia that occurring at the time of overshoot-type synaptic formation could cause damage to normal tissue and mitochondria. Fact that CD55 is showing higher expression at 6 M than at 3 M, may suggest that normal brain tissue is more protected at 6 M [39]. Deletion of CD55 gene in our case could have potentially roll in “fine tuning” of synaptic pruning in a negative way. Reduce level of glycoprotein, due to deletion, could hypothetically leave normal brain tissue more prone to negative side effects of synaptic phagosytosis resulting in a neuron loss. Giving that this are really recant research further functional analysis could shared a light on this process and reveal neuro-protective genes.

TBL1XR1 (transducin (beta)-like 1 X-linked receptor 1, HGNC:29529, 3q26.33)

TBL1XR1 is essential in mediating transcription silencing (repression) by unliganded nuclear receptors (NRs) and other regulated transcription factors (TFs) [40-42]. Through the recruitment of the specific proteasome complex, TBL1XR1 can act as a transcription activator that mediates the exchange of corepressors for coactivators [43, 44]. As a transcription regulating factor TBL1XR1 is required for the activation of multiple intracellular signaling pathways. Among them are b-catenin–Tcfmediated Wnt signaling and NF-κB pathway [45-47]. In literature, up to day, TBL1XR1 haploinsufficiency was described in only three patients, all characterized by facial dysmorphism, speech delay, mild to moderate cognitive deficit, and lack of autistic behaviors [48, 49]. Interestingly, mutations in TBL1XR1 gene were recently identified in three patients that have ASD and severe ID, but without any obvious dysmorphism or recurrent comorbidities [50, 51]. HI score for TBL1XR1 is 6.81.


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